Ectropion – Lid turns out

Ectropion is where the eyelid turns out causing unsightly redness along the lid margin and watery eyes, due to malpositioning of the top end of the tear drainage system. Most commonly the lid changes occur in association with ageing, resulting in laxity of the lid and its associated ligaments. Sometimes sun damage, previous tumours, injury or prior surgery can cause shrinkage of the skin, turning the eyelid out.

Surgical management depends on the individual situation, but will involve some form of lid tightening. In cases with skin shrinkage a small skin graft may be required.

Surgery is generally performed under local anaesthesia and is well tolerated.

Banner image: An ectropion due to lid laxity.  Note the watery eye and the redness of the exposed inner surface of the eyelid.

© 2009 American Academy of Ophthalmology

Before and after photos following a right lower lid ectropion repair.

Courtesy Mr JRO Collin

In this case a scar has been removed and replaced with a skin graft. There is great improvement, with the lid sitting in the correct position and the eye no longer waters.


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This ectropion has been repaired by using a skin and muscle flap from the upper lid.